Title: Nyon Black Market Takedown
Location: Nyon - Marketplace
Date: 15 April 2015
Summary: In the midst of making a deal with Hot Rod, Swindle is taken down hard by Orion Pax. Perhaps too hard. Is Orion finally feeling the pressure? Or is it rebuild roid rage?
Business is good in Nyon. Swindle is making a tidy profit selling the new weapons Starscream gave him. He counts his shanix from his latest sale greedily, like Ebeneezer Scroogebot, before stowing it away in his subspace pocket. His buyer leaves, and Swindle goes searching for another one.
"Hey, Swindle!" Hot Rod jogs up with friendly cheer and easy familiarity. If only Swindle had a frequent buyer program, he'd qualify for all kinds of benefits. With energon rationed, Nyon thirsty, and weapons a hot commodity -- as in illegal, THAT KIND OF HOT, but also selling super well! -- they've been seeing a lot of each other. "You got the charges I asked about?"
"Oh yeah, I got em right here," Swindle says, as he rummages in his subspace compartment, retrieving one of the objects Hot Rod asked for. "These are pretty when they go boom." He grins.
Hot Rod reaches out for the charges and shifts them in hand, checking them in slightly better lighting. It's hard to miss what they are. /Shame/, Hot Rod. Shame! "Yeah, cool. That's what Flareup was looking for. You going to be able to get us more if we need them?" Maybe they have some mining they need to do. For things. For reasons.
When Swindle finishes his first deal, there was a moment of movement from a Temple to Solarus Prime that overlooks the makeshift marketplace that Swindle is using. Orion Pax was getting ready to make his move and descend down upon the Combaticon, but with Hot Rod's approach, he had to call it off for the moment. "Primus dammit.." the mech whispers to himself. "..I tried to warn you away from this." he lets out an exhaust of a breath but holds his position. He just can't bring himself to go after the Nyonese hero and poster boy, hoping and praying that he's not making another deal with Swindle - even though that's what his listening device is exactly telling him. Scrap.
Still. He pauses. He'll wait until Hot Rod is clear and then scold the brat - I mean rebel - later for his actions.
Swindle nods. "There's plenty more where that came from," he says confidently. "Let me know when you need a bulk shipment and I'll get it for you."
Hot Rod is hanging out with all the wrong kids these days. Shifting the charges to his off hand, he clasps Swindle on the shoulder. If his paint job, mannerisms, voice, and words weren't enough to already give him away, the friendly way he just assumes he's everyone's buddy would be as much of a tell. "You're the best, you really are. It might be a while, though. We've had to cut back on everything else to bring energon in. Might need to talk to you about upping that, if you can."
"Sure thing," Swindle says, beaming at Hot Rod. "You're my best customer, after all." Well 'best' as in 'least likely to murder Swindle if a deal goes bad'.
Surely a deal could never possibly go bad. Swindle is 100% absolutely trustworthy. He's done well enough by the rebels over the years that they still buy from him, after all! "The rationing is really hitting us hard," Hot Rod admits. (Maybe he shouldn't say that. That'd just let Swindle jack up the price! "It's like someone in Iacon dropped a zero on Nyon's population or something when they ship anything at all. And people keep saying you could get us even better deals if we actually joined up with you guys." As determined as Hot Rod has been to cling to Nyon's (already questionable) neutrality, he slips just a little further with the not-quite-question as he looks to Swindle to confirm (or deny!) that.
Swindle strokes his chin a bit. "Hmmm, I think we could work something out," he says, "Joining up certainly would help." He grins at Hot Rod.
Hot Rod makes an unhappy sort of noise in answer to that. He was obviously hoping not. NO ONE TELL ARSENAL. IT WILL ONLY BE MORE FUEL FOR HER FIRE. He wheedles, "You guys are doing so well, though, and it's not like Nyon's /not/ helping you out. We're taking some heat off you just by /existing/. Don't you think you could shave a couple of percents off for that? It's not like you're selling to Autobots, here."
Swindle ponders. "Hmmmmm, I suppose," he says, "Alright, I'll shave off 3 percent. That good enough?"
As the deal drags on, Orion taps his fingers in anxious anticipation against his rifle. He has the patience to wait out the deal, he's done plenty of stakeouts before. It's just a matter of waiting for the deal to complete, Hot Rod to be on his way, and then, take Swindle down.
One of the members of his team, however, is not so patient. Windcharger, in particular, has grown tired of waiting. "<<Come on, Pax.>>" he radios in a whisper. "<<Let's go in and bust some heads already.>>"
"<<Not yet.>>" Pax responds. "<<Just a few moments longer.>>"
"<<Scrap that.>>" Windcharger replies as he starts to wave his magic arms. "<<You know Zeta wanted Rod arrested anyway, this just makes it easier. Let's go!>>" he calls out as he rips the section of metallic wall away from the temple and casts it down to the street below, where it crashes into the ground with a loud thud, scattering panicked civilians and kicking up dust. "Security Forces!" Windcharger calls out. "Your shop is closed permamently, Swindle!"
Pax feels his anger roil as Windcharger jumps the gun, slams down his hand on the small charges that were holding down his section of wall, causing it to collapse at street level as the mech protoforms and rolls out in his truckform. "Do not resist, Swindle, we're taking you in!" he yells as he.. actually picks up speed, apparently looking to put Swindle directly in the large vehicle's sights.
-Combat- You miss Swindle with your melee attack!
"That's a start. Thanks, Swindle," says Hot Rod with a deeply grateful smile. The Decepticons are just so great.
Collapsing buildings are not entirely uncommon in Nyon, so it's not until he looks up and spots Windcharger calling out that he looks more than startled. He look outraged, then angry -- then he spots Pax.
Hot Rod pulls Swindle back by the shoulder, as though he could actually drag him out of the way, but he doesn't linger or leap between them. (Sorry, Swindle.) He falls back again with the wariness of one only /just/ reminded that Zeta has an arrest order out for him, too.
Swindle is grateful to be dragged out of the way of a collapsing building. "Ohslag ohslag ohslag. Cheese it, it's the fuzz!" Swindle exclaims, when Orion Pax and Windcharger appear. He glances about, searching for a way to elude his pursuers. He jumps out of the way of the vehicle trying to mow him down!
Orion's horn blares. That's the only warning that Hot Rod gets as the flashy mech dives out of the way and pulls Swindle with him. 'Primus damn it, Hot Rod!' the large mech internalizes.
"Don't wory about Mister Flashypants, Pax, I'll get him!" Windcharger calls out, ready to unleash a magnetic pulse upon Hot Rod.
"Negative! Hot Rod is not the target, Swindle is!" Pax calls out as he pushes hard on his brakes, causing the whole vehiclemode to violently vibrate as it skids along the road and twists to the side as Pax protoforms back into his root mode. "Hot Rod get out of the way!" the large officer calls out as he lowers his ion blaster. Before, in his previous form, this rifle was more of a stun gun than anything. That's probably why it would come as a surprise to Pax as the upgraded rifle suddenly lets out a burst of rounds that spray out, and do a heck of a lot more damage than his stunner rifle did as he aims to take Swindle's legs out from under him.
Windcharger blows out an exhaust, letting Rod get away, FOR NOW, as he too tries to concentrate on arresting the wily black marketer.
-Combat- You hit Swindle with your ranged attack!
Swindle acks as his legs are hit! He can't run, and he falls faceplates-down on to the ground, barely able to pull himself forward with his arms.
On being told to get out of the way by a member of law enforcement, Hot Rod has to fight the impulse to /immediately throw himself right into things/. It's Pavlovian. 'Don't do it', says the cop, and thus every instinct in Hot Rod screams at him to do it. Whatever it is. It's a mighty act of will that allows him to scramble out of the way and fade into the shadows ringing the swiftly emptying market. He hefts the charges in his hands thoughtfully.
Windcharger runs forward and grabs Swindle, hefting him up on his shot up legs and slams a restraining bolt down on him. "Feels familiar, don't it?" the mech whispers harshly to the Combaticon as Pax strides forward, putting away his ion blaster as he looks through the goods that Swindle was offering to sell. As he hits something in particular, he pauses and lifts it out. It's from the freighter 'Panamax'. The mech studies it and scowls suddenly, his optics flaring with sudden unbridled rage. "This is a game to you, isn't it Swindle? Take what you can, sell it up and run away with the profits." As the mech steps forward he pushes his knee deep into the wound on Swindle's leg. "I've had enough. Game over, Swindle."
What occurs next would go down in the annals of Cybertron as the cycle that Orion Pax finally let it all go. A massive right hand drops straight into Swindle's midsection, damaging the grill and armor of the mech, looking to double him over.
<That was for Bumper.>
A heavy left hand uppercuts straight up while Swindle is doubled over to catch the mech square in the face and send him rocking backwards against a very surprised and shocked Windcharger. "Pax, what the scrap are you doing?!"
<That was for Fastback.>
Swindle yelps as he's punched, kneed, and generally pummeled. "Hey! HEY! What did I ever do to you?!" he protests.
Hot Rod circles the all but emptied space, moving from shadow to shadow and slipping from one building to the next. He works his way around behind the enforcers, just out of sight. He's one of many citizens on the street that stop to watch with horror as Swindle goes down. There are a few shocked whispers, but Hot Rod's not one of them. He's silent, for all that his expression mirrors those around him. Yet they hesitate, scared of stepping forward, scared even of speaking up. Hot Rod -- not so much.
As Swindle protests between his broken lips, Pax slams his hand forward into the center of the Combaticon's chest, grabbing a hold of the Deceptibadge and ripping it away, armor and all from the mech's frame, partially exposing his spark. "This was enough that you did to the whole of Cybertron." Pax rumbles dangerously as he holds the badge up for Swindle to view through his optic visor, which may be cracked from the force of the punch.
<That was for the unknown Autobot on the 'Panamax'.>
And he drives his fist hard into Swindle's face, looking to knock him offline and from the looks of it, he's reaching for his energon axe to ignite it to life, the weapon of the scholar being used in such a reckless manner. "This ends now, Swindle. I grant you mercy of a swift demise."
"Pax!" Windcharger protests, "This ain't you, mech! Comeon, let's just take him in and call it a cycle! I'll even buy the first round for once!" the mech pleads with his commander. For all the time they were on the run, he's never seen Pax this angry.
<This is for Feint.>
"Hey, hey, maybe we can make a deal!" Swindle continues to protest, through dislocated jaw plates.
Then everything blows up.
Okay, not everything. But there's a flash of light, swiftly followed by a wash of heat and slam of air as /something/ goes off behind them. The concussive blast is enough to rattle Pax and the others on their feet, while the noise of it briefly stuns. Someone who thought to look for it might notice that the area near the detonation has been cleared of rubberneckers: warned by whoever was responsible.
Then again, /everyone/ is running away, so who'd notice a little detail like that? Behind the fireball, Hot Rod in poised tension.
"You can make your deal with the Pit, Swindle." Pax ominously announces, sounding like that this may very well be the end of the poor mech. As he raises and ignites his blade to strike the fatal blow - everything goes /kaboom/.
It was this that snaps Pax out of whatever dark thoughts were racing through the Field Commander's net as he suddenly seems to snap out of it and reverts to his old self as he swings his axe to the side, slamming it into the ground next to Swindle before he disengages it and puts it away, protoforming into his vehicle mode and a trailer appears from subspace to attach to the back. "Throw him in, Windcharger, we need to go before the Decepticons are alerted."
Windcharger lets out a sigh of relief. One he never thought he would have to do in the face of imminent attack. "Got it, Pax!" Shoving the prisoner into Pax's trailer module, he climbs in after to make sure Swindle doesn't try anything.
Pax blares his horn one last time before driving over Swindle's ill-gotten goods and rumbles off into the East, on a run to Iacon.
Swindle is shoved into Orion Pax's "trailer" like a turbofox that has just been picked up by mechanimal control. He's so battered he can no longer move. However he's thanking primus silently under his lip plates that Orion stopped going all Terminator on him.
As the Autobots clear the area, Nyon's citizens slowly return. Hot Rod is not the first, despite all the free stuff left behind now that Pax has beaten Swindle like a pinata. He follow them a short distance, making sure that no one's actually too hurt -- other than Swindle, that is. Then he returns to make sure no brawls or riots can break out over the scattered goods ... and puts a call in to Blast Off. HEY BUDDY, HAS HE GOT SOME NEWS FOR YOU.